Frank Lampard will give Willy Caballero the opportunity to press for a regular starting role when Chelsea visit Hull City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday evening and is considering whether to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga with a new goalkeeper this summer.
Arrizabalaga’s shaky form has led to Chelsea registering an interest in Burnley’s Nick Pope and Lampard, who hopes Tammy Abraham will recover from an ankle injury to face Leicester next weekend, has been concerned about the £72m Spaniard for a while. The 25-year-old made a costly error during Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal and will be rested against Hull, giving Caballero a rare chance to impress.
Caballero is out of contract at the end of the season but the 38-year-old Argentinian will be keen to show he deserves more playing time. “All the players who play tomorrow do,” Lampard said. “All the ones who don’t start regularly. Those are the rules. That’s where the goalkeeper is a specific position. Where it’s quite well known there’s a No 1 and a No 2. But my choice is to make that choice after the game.”
Chelsea’s manager warned that Arrizabalaga has to improve after being asked whether he wants to strengthen in goal this month. “I am not looking at it now,” Lampard said. “I think with Kepa he knows. He’ll be honest that there have been some mistakes that have cost us goals.”
Lampard said Abraham has not fractured his ankle but doubt remains over when Chelsea’s leading goalscorer will return. “We were worried about a hairline fracture,” Lampard said. “We still have to see how he develops. He’s not fit for the weekend but whether he’ll be fit for Leicester after that I’m still not sure.”
Abraham’s injury has intensified the pressure on Chelsea to improve their attacking options. Lampard has urged Michy Batshuayi to take his chance against Hull. Olivier Giroud, whose move to Internazionale is in danger of falling through, is unlikely to be on the bench against the Championship side.
Chelsea want Edinson Cavani on loan from Paris Saint-Germain but the Uruguayan forward favours a permanent move to Atlético Madrid. Lampard, who dismissed links with Lyon’s Moussa Dembélé, admitted a deal for Cavani had been complicated by the 32-year-old’s mother urging PSG to sell her son to Atlético.